As a child, I was a competitive figure skater, gymnast, basketball player, diver and pianist among many other things and I loved to eat! Unfortunately, I have not been able to eat real food for over six years. My fluid and nutrition are delivered intravenously through a central line that goes into my heart.

My life started to change dramatically at the age of 7 when I started having what doctors referred to as a “medical mystery.” Eventually, I was diagnosed with intestinal failure, anemia of chronic disease, myopathic pseudo obstruction, adrenal insufficiency and a life-threatening chronic illness known as mitochondrial dysfunction. Doctors claim there is “no cure” for what I have, but I like to believe that there is “no cure …yet.” I believe there is a cure waiting to be discovered any day and I hope to be a part of finding that solution.

Despite my physical limitations and inability to eat, I have maintained a positive attitude and continue to try to live life to the fullest. I was able to graduate with honors from St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City last May and I am currently enrolled as a full-time student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I am studying to be a biochemistry major and I am a member of the Chi Omega sorority.  

I am grateful for my figure skating background and training. I learned at an early age how to GET UP and keep going whenever I would fall down and I know this lesson has contributed to my resiliency and success in life!